Climbing that Mountain

Pre-celiac, I was a runner. Not a marathoner, but I escaped my stresses with a pair of running shoes and 4 miles of track under my feet.

Now, just hitting my goal weight gain and mostly healed from my IT band strain, all I want to do is sprint into the New Year at full speed.

My only running lately - in the store to
buy new shoes!
But, for now, I'm focusing on hiking instead. 

I'm hiking up Twin Peaks on New Year's Day with my dad beside me. Walkers crowd the trail like ants, searching for exercise that fits their 2015 "healthy" resolutions. But it's still quiet. Sneakers hit dirt as I glance beyond the cliff side to the rows of houses and trees sprawling across Poway. 

Dad and I talk about the future. My classes. The Marine Corps' relocation of family to the other side of the U.S. in a handful of months. We also talk about the past. How I now flash more muscles than bone. My ear-deafening morning ritual of banana ice cream via my Nutribullet. 

Twin peaks...and twin geeks.
When we finally reach the top, we pause at the rock overlooking our town. As he eats a granola bar, I fool around with the phone, recording my antics for future generations (and blog posts). Eventually, we head back down, but not before photographing our feet hanging off the ledge. Just ready to fall into 2015. 

I'm hiking around Poway Lake with two of my best high school pals by my side. Shruti teases Sneha over her sneakers and heavy sweatshirt - not exactly the best adventuring gear. 

As we take cheesy pictures with the lake behind us - my midget self dwarfed by my friends - all of whom average at least 5'8" - I remember our senior prom photos. A handful of girls covered in bright dresses, photo props and college dreams

Same old goofy gals!
An hour later, we head back to our cars - cars that will be returning to college only a few days later - slowly, muscles tired from the trek. Despite the AP classes, the four-point-whatever GPA's and the overnight visits, college is kicking all our butts. We take on too many activities; we change majors and contemplate minors; we fail at social scene navigation. Yet, we all agree sophomore year beats freshman hands down. 

Now, I'm hiking down the hill that connects the main part of campus to my dorm. (Hiking down is deceivingly harder than up, leaves just ready to slip under your feet). It's the first day of class, and I'm buzzing with the need to move. To sprint into the classes, activities and obligations of second semester

It will be busy. Seventeen units. One note-taking job. One TA job for my freshman Journalism professor. A boyfriend. A bunch of friends. And a whole lot of food to cook. 

I just escaped my last class for the day, and my planner is already full. As I reach the top of the hill, though, I pause. I breathe. I slow down. There will be a time to run - to let life speed by me, too fast to fully taste it. 

My walking shoes...for now
But, for now, it's time to hike. Steadily. Slowly. Feeling every footstep, enjoying every laugh and building up strength for the next mountain to come. 

*Also found at Runningwithspoon's link party!**

What mountains are you climbing? How do you force yourself to slow down? Comment below! 


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